I preferred the late afternoon start. 1:00pm. Gives you enough time to eat and chuck everything in the car, and hopefully not forget anything. The first round I forgot my drink, and then the next race I forgot my Garmin. This time though, unbelievably I had everything! It was a warm day with very little wind. The course could almost be classed as rolling with a leg sapping drag to the finish line.
The race was neutralised out of the race HQ to safely get us on the circuit and another mile or so until we crossed the start/ finish line for the first time. The pace shot up as a few hopefuls attacked from the gun. It was all in vain though as quickly as the race had started it was stopped again by a herd of cows that decided that now was the best time to cross the road.
The bunch stayed as a whole for the next few miles after, with riders chatting and laughing about the whole ordeal. It wasn’t until we reached Malmesbury, where the road drags up a bit after exiting the round about, this is where Jack Thompson attacked over the top with a Bath CC and a Radon rider. The peloton let the gap go, without much in terms of a counter. As a three-man break is very unlikely to succeed from this early in the race, Tony Kiss, Rory Gilling and I decided to bridge across to the brake to make it a group of 6.
Shortly after joining together the radon rider punctured leaving us with a group of 5. 3 of which were Performance cycles, which put us in a very good situation. The miles ticked by with the nerves and uncertainty that come with the feeling of being c
hased by the raging peloton.
We were about halfway round the final lap, one of the motorcyclist gave us a time gap of around 2 mins, which was perfect, but by no means safe.Tony, Jack and I had decided on a plan of attack that we were ready to perform in the final 3 miles. When suddenly out of nowhere we were joined by James Stewart, Matt Woods, Hayden Burton and Sean Townsend. This came as a big surprise to the brake away and confused the situation. The motorcycle gave us no information about a chasing group.
When we reached the 3 mile point, I put in my attack as planned, and managed to get a bit of a gap, but not enough to shake the fresh legs of Hayden. I continued to pull for about half a mile or so before I decided to sit up a bit as he was refusing to pull through. This allowed Rory to catch us up. Almost immediately He put in an attack to try to pull a gap, but both Haden and I were able to respond. I glanced behind and saw Sean closing down on us. Fearing of losing the podium altogether, I took to the front, sacrificing any sprint my legs might had left to make sure we weren’t caught. Hayden managed to put in a strong sprint over the top of me to take the win. With the emotions smashed from loosing, I didn’t have anything left to sprint and Rory took second and I followed for a close third.
Overall it was a good result for Performance Cycles, With 5 riders all in the top 10, myself on the podium and putting Matt Woods in the overall leaders jersey. It just wasn’t as good as it could have been.